Kindle Fire – Parents, turn off yer One Click

Me on Christmas

Note: this post was written in January of 2012. Your Kindle and Amazon’s policies may have changed by now.

Since I’ve gotten a lot of hits about my last Kindle Fire post, I’m going to share some more information I learned the hard way.

I have kids. Kids who borrow my Kindle, my iPod, my laptop, everything. We all got hooked on Angry Birds this Christmas — so hooked, I had to buy a version for my iPod Touch and the new Kindle Fire to prevent sibling homicide in the car.

Imagine my surprise to find Angry Birds Seasons had also been loaded.

“I wanted it,” my little girl said.

“You can’t have it,” I said. (This was Christmas, too. I’m such a b-word.)

I was annoyed. I complained verbally to my husband, then felt guilty since he’d bought me the Fire for Christmas and I’m often whiny and ungrateful. That night I sent one email to Amazon and they refunded my money. However, I didn’t want to repeat this experience every few days. Some of us have children that are 1) smarter, and/or 2) naughtier than they should be.

So, if you’re like me, you’ll want to turn off what Amazon calls your “Mobile 1-Click.” You can do this from your PC or your Fire.

Accessing 1-Click Settings from a PC/web browser:

1) go to Amazon homepage

2) click on Your Account in upper right hand corner

3) scroll down to Settings/ Manage 1-Click

4) over to the right, you should see two little windows. 1-click for website purchases, and below it “Mobile 1-Click.” Turn that off.

5) If you don’t see a Mobile option, then it is already disabled. You can turn it on and off from the device itself; see below.

Accessing 1-Click Settings from the Kindle Fire:

1. Turn on your Kindle Fire. (This may entail finding your power cord (which, by the way, is way too freaking short) since your kids may have drained the battery playing Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja behind the couch.)

2. Click on Amazon icon below your Carousel.

3. Click on the little icon at the bottom of the screen between the arrow and the magnifying glass. It looks like a piece of paper with lines on it. Sorry I don’t know how to do Fire screencaptures.

4. Click on Your Account (little bust person)

5. Sign in to your account.

6. Click on “1-Click Settings” in upper right hand corner

7. You found it!!!! Mobile 1-Click can be turned off here. It is also the only place I know of where it can be turned ON. Which suggests you might want to keep an eye on that sucker and change the password frequently.

If you aren’t finding the Mobile settings, make sure you’ve updated the Kindle Fire software since early December. They pushed out a fix (it is a drug so they use the same lingo) but you’ll have to make sure you’re running it. Make sure WiFi is up and Sync.

Hope this helps! Time to get my kids off the computer. If it’s not one screen, it’s another. Screen or scream… you know how it is.

Happy New Year!


Crazed Consumer Tuesday: Kindle Fire – Problem with DRM (and how to fix it)

I have now had my Kindle Fire for one week.

There is no good reason I asked my husband for this fun new toy, but he bought it for me anyway: an early Christmas present. Millions have joined me. There is really no particular task the Fire can do that I can’t already do with my other many gadgets. I admit we already have two Kindle Keyboards (3d Gen), an iPod Touch, an iPod Classic, an iPod Shuffle, two iPod Nanos, a MacBook, a MacBook Pro, a few Linux desktop machines, an iPad, a Sony eReader, a Sansa Fuze, and more I can’t remember … so you see, we’re not hurting in the consumer electronics department. (Unless you consider the financial and social impact.)

And yet I wanted a Kindle Fire anyway. My husband watches videos on his iPad every night next to me in bed, so maybe I was jealous. You can lie on your back while you zone out in multimedialand, which isn’t possible with a laptop. And who watches TV anymore? (OK, well, I don’t. It’s downstairs, where it’s cold and drafty, and we dumped cable long ago.)

This desire to do tablet-like things on it is why I didn’t even try to load an ebook for several days. I have many Kindle editions in the cloud, some with DRM (not that I’d noticed, since I used my other Kindle.) Finally, after getting bored with the Amazon Prime video offerings (the Fire gives you one free month of Prime and its free content for a month), I downloaded of my previously-purchased Kindle books.

When I tried to open it, I got an “INVALID” error message warning me that my title had DRM and I somehow lacked the rights to it. (I’m sorry I can’t quote it directly; it has since been fixed.) I tried repeatedly with other books; same story. (My books loaded fine, since I don’t ever put DRM locks on my own books.)

Thinking perhaps the publishers had put multiple-device limits on their books, and I’d already loaded them onto too many (see above menagerie of electronica), I purchased a new (free) Kindle book from a trad publisher that I knew would have DRM on it. That didn’t work either.

So, the solution, courtesy of Tiffany (her real name? I wondered) at Amazon Customer Service (this was not given to me via email, but took a phone call):

1. Reboot your device. (didn’t work)
2. Go to settings and deregister your device.
3. Reregister. (worked.)

This worked for me, but Tiffany was on the other end of the line, so perhaps she did some magical keystrokes to make something work. If you’re having error messages with your DRMed ebooks, try this before you call, and know you’re not the only one who had the issue.

Now I’m able to read all my books with or without DRM. Another reason DRM is really, really annoying and unhelpful. All it did for me was remind me why I’d rather buy paperbacks if they have DRM…

Or buy from indies.